Recompress Update 17.11

November 27th, 2017

After releasing our initial PDF Re/compress we received praise by first customers and users - and one popular questions: Can you actually reduce the quality much, much more?!

Our initial Re/compress will go thru all the PDF’s objects, and re-writes them in a much more compact and compressed way and also potentially recover and fix some broken files. It would also allow to reduce compression quality and down-sample the image’s resolution.

However, some interested inquires intentionally wanted way worse, smaller, and thus faster to load files. One of the most popular reason? AutoCAD CAD drawing! Those users usually use some print to PDF driver that usually results in tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of vector segments, but also potentially many small, few pixel sized (inline, sigh) image dots from 3d renderings and such. Those would usually not compress very much in our original version. This files also actually cause popular PDF viewers, like Apple’s Preview and naturally even more so Adobe’s Acrobat to hang while it was drawing all this many page content for seconds - panning and zooming was also not a very snappy affair.

Meet Re/compres 17.11 - our first major update: A newly developed “Rasterize pages to bitmap graphics” pass will convert this huge amounts of objects to just a single, highly compressed image. Using the down-sample resolution option you can create a new compressed file, intentionally with “photocopier” like reduced quality. Particularly useful when you want to mail documents to public tenders and potential clients without them having to expose all the fine, zoomable details of the original vector file!

We hope Re/compress and all its features can help you in your daily office workflow, and if you have any other wish or inquiry just let us know, too!

Re/compress PDF.

Apple’s macOS Preview default to 100% scale

November 8th, 2017

You sometimes need to print documents, invoices, boarding passes, whatever? Using Apple’s macOS and tired of having to choose: “Scale: 100%” to have an accurate printout instead of the often arbitrary default of: “Scale to Fit: 97%” or 98% (likely due to content on margins outside of your printer’s printable page size)?

defaults write PVImagePrintingScaleMode 0
defaults write PVImagePrintingAutoRotate 0

Yep. The famous Apple usability and attention to details ;-)

Hex print variables in raw GDB cli interface

October 26th, 2017

How did I survive 20 years without noticing that GDB can hex print variables simply by adding /x:

p/x var

$1 = {0×4d, 0×46, 0×50, …}


“Everything was better in the past”

October 7th, 2017

When I talk about IT issues, e.g. #peakbugs in macOS / iOS, and how I liked older macOS versions more, how many modern cheap “made in China appliances / gadgets” break quickly, or the the “loudness wars” in music, many people just respond with the usual slang myth: yeah, yeah, “everything was better in the past”.
Well, of course not. IMHO Windows 10 is one of the best Windows versions (well, all the ones before were just total garage crap, … and not that I would want to use it on a daily basis, but still, …)

Just noticed another funny random glitch in the Matrix. Guano Apes, a “local” German, 90’s band from where I grew up, just released a remaster / remix of their first album. Now “Proud Like A God” was one of my examples of “you really could have produced it with a little higher fidelity and less noise”. Guess what? The 2017 remaster / remix versions is higher fidelity and with less noise ;-) And as a added bonus in this day and age you can even get it as 24-bit/48kHz FLAC.

macOS High Sierra

September 25th, 2017

The silly name aside (sigh), it is really ridiculous that in 2017 Apple does still not allow us to update the last Beta build to the GM (Golden Master) via a delta update, and instead forces us to download and re-install the whole OS from scratch, again.

Not only for developers this really is a total waste of time (and bandwidth). There are already hundred small design details all over macOS and iOS that are not 100%ly right in the Apple eco-system anymore, this additional annoyances really add up to a way too long list in the meantime!

Testing the Beta on my 15″ Retina MacBook Pro (Late 2013) the graphic performance (e.g. editing videos, but also just browsing the web) was quite sluggish, stability awful, and there was even screen flicker and corruption during booting (hello? - where has atomic mode setting gone? ;-)

The machine run also significantly hotter and battery life was obviously much worse. If Apple did not hot-fix this in the last weeks before the GM release this might very well be the worst macOS release I witnessed to date :-/ #peakbugs

Update: after fresh installation (sigh), even the boot graphic glitches prevail:

A post shared by RenéRebe™ (@renerebe) on

Update: even the Arstechnica mentions “bugs” 9 times, and “issues” 10 times, too. Nobody would have let Microsoft get away with this, and we would have called it the worst Windows Vista release ever, … Just saying, …

Update2: iMovie still has the same problem as the latest beta installation before the GM. On my above mentioned 15″ rMBP with 4k display connected and internal display closed iMovie even crashes straight away on start-up:

Exception Type: EXC_CRASH (SIGABRT)
Exception Codes: 0×0000000000000000, 0×0000000000000000

Application Specific Information:
-[QCCGLRootContext minimalSharedContextForCurrentThread]: Inconsistent state
abort() called

Surprisingly iMovie starts when I open the internal display in addition to the external 4k display. What?

Sick & sad. Really sad.

Update 5/11/’17 this is still not fixed in the macOS 10.3.1 and iMovie 10.1.8 and not 4k related, also happens with an vintage 20″ Apple Cinema Display, :-/ ..! #peakbugs

Update 6/12/’17 this is still not fixed in the macOS 10.3.2

The different kinds of Wake-on-Lan

September 24th, 2017

Some time ago I posted about wake on lan being hidden by a cryptic energy BIOS option. This week I was setting up a new test system and wondered what exactly the Linux ethtool:
Supports Wake-on: pumbg
letters actually meant. The man-page is help and it actually is quite simple and logical:

p Wake on PHY activity
u Wake on unicast messages
m Wake on multicast messages
b Wake on broadcast messages
a Wake on ARP
g Wake on MagicPackettm
s Enable SecureOntm password for MagicPackettm
d Disable (wake on nothing). This option clears all previous options.

Apple continues to overcharge EU customers

September 13th, 2017

So the new iPhone-X was just announced, let’s take a quick look on the pricing: $US 999, which does not include tax. So let’s divide this by the current $US/EUR exchange of 1.20, and adding 19% Germany VAT:

999 / 1.20 * 1.19 = 990,675 EUR

To be on the save side they could round this up to 999 EUR-
And what is Apple listing on their Germany website?

1.149 EUR !!!

Thanks but no thanks. I do not need to be ripped of and overcharged to maximize profits and subsidize the US market.

Update: Apple is basically calculating with an currently very far off exchange rate of 1.0338 !
999/1.0338*1.19 = 1149.94…

I would rather prefer they use actual exchange rates, and instead adapt prices if necessary. As they did before in Europe, Russia, Brazil, and elsewhere, ..!

command line iTunes Connect upload?

August 25th, 2017


/ITunesSoftwareService.framework/Versions/A/Support/altool –upload-app -f my.pkg -u -p thepassword

Why does Apple tell nobody, let us fight with the UI and bug nightmare that is the Application Loader or Xcode!!! :-/ ???

PS: if you are using an older macOS version you may also need to download the new Apple Worldwide Developer Relations Intermediate Certificate:

And if you install older Xcode versions on a newer macOS they can also overwrite the codesign tool or it’s support files you may get:

The product archive package’s signature is invalid. Ensure that it is signed with your “3rd Party Mac Developer Installer” certificate.

In which case for me it helped re-installing the /Applications/InstallOSX…app/Contents/SharedSupport/InstallESD.dmg’s Packages/BSD.pkg

Your milage may vary! :-/



/usr/bin/xcrun -sdk iphoneos PackageApplication -v “${RELEASE_BUILDDIR}/${APPLICATION_NAME}.app” -o “${BUILD_HISTORY_DIR}/${APPLICATION_NAME}.ipa” –sign “${DEVELOPER_NAME}” –embed “${PROVISONING_PROFILE}”

Apple MacBok’s secret EFI magic to enable iGPU!

August 10th, 2017

Since some years I have a Apple 15″ Retina MacBook Pro that I mostly used with macOS. But as that becomes buggery and slower with each release I started to migrated back to my t2sde as primary desktop. One thing I noticed last year already, is that the EFI BIOS is switching off the Intel iGPU when booting anything else than macOS. A special and secret EFI protocol is required to authenticate as macOS and being worthy to leave the integrated graphics switched on. As this year it again did not work anymore, and it took a whole afternoon to find out, I made a short video covering the details:

Turned out, an EFI firmware update changed the protocol return value, so that the previous code would not call both protocol functions anymore, sigh!

If that is the new state of apple hardware and firmware design you probably want to thin twice if you want to get one, especially if you ever may want to run anything beside macOS, … :-/

N-Trig touch screens occasionally need re-calibration!

July 29th, 2017

Since I finally got the touch-screen and pen of my Surface Pro 3 working in Linux I noticed it sometimes generates random phantom touches, or dead zones. Turns out this touch screen’s firmware have some internal re-calibration mode that can be run in that case:

2017 - when not even your touch screens work reliably anymore :-/